To: frog report
From:Zelda Queen of the Night<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Cadillac Ranch
Friday, June 19, 1998
We are in a motel this morning in Grants, New Mexico. Part of what's hard about keeping up the log is that so much happens.
We left Palo Duro fairly early for us, 9:30. We stopped in Amarillo to buy a guide to the western birds at a Barnes and Noble we spotted from the highway. It was in the biggest mall either of us had ever seen, the thing must have covered thousands and thousands of acres. Then we went looking for Cadillac Ranch. We knew it was eight miles west of Amarillo. We drove past it at first, it was on the other side of the highway and also it's been spraypainted sort of yellow (well not sort of yellow it is yellow, Rustoleum Yellow to be exact, we found the cans).
After we knew we had gone too far, we got off I-40 and asked a girl on a 4-wheeler. "Back that-a-way" she said jerking her thumb east. Honest to God, she actually said it! She told us to stay on the service road and we wouldn't be able to miss it. Chris saw it first, he had the binoculars. "There it is! "he yelled and there it was, golden yellow with appropriate graffiti decoration, shining in a field of wheat stubble in the distance. We pulled up next to the fence, and whooping and hollering with excitement we grabbed both cameras, piled the Frog Army into the souvenir black leather motorcycle cap with silver studs that says ELVIS on the front ( from Graceland, yes we did stop, it was a total gas too) and ran though the little gate and set off through the wheat field. The ground around there is so incredibly hard that I'm surprised anything comes out of it at all.
We were there for at least an hour and a half. We took pictures of the frogs, pictures of each other with the cars, pictures of the cars by themselves. We took pictures of other people with the cars, and other people took pictures of us. We found some left-over spay paint and added our own names although I really didn't have to, two other Zeldas had been there before me.
Chris thought it was the most fun place he had ever been. That night we stayed at the Lake Santa Rosa state park in New Mexico and became fast friends with our neighbors again, that's a whole other story too that I haven't had time to write down, like Graceland, and the state park we stayed in north of Memphis that is now known to us simply as Mosquitoville.
Yesterday I took Chris to Acoma. He did not want to go at first for some reason but once we got on the reservation and the landscape changed to something like the pink moon of another world he became more interested and by the time we had been up on the mesa for half-an-hour he wanted to move there. The place is just as magical as I remember from my visit there as a child although now there are tour buses that you ride up instead of walking up a trail. He had wanted to see some ancient places and Acoma certainly qualifies.
This morning we decided to blow off our reservations at Grand Canyon and Yosemite. We don't want to rush here. We'll go see them of course but we won't try to rush to make our camping reservations. We'll go up to Mesa Verde instead and then go to Canyon de Chelly and wend our way over to San Francisco at our leisure.
Chris is the best and funniest traveling companion I've ever had. This trip has to be the best thing I've ever done for him as a parent, it's certainly the best thing I've done for me in ages. Every single person we've encountered has been so nice to us that I think we must be traveling in some kind of magic cloud.
Zelda and Chris
Acoma - The Sky City
photo from the Acoma Pueblo website